New Coronavirus Aid Bill Passes Senate

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New Coronavirus Aid Bill Passes Senate

This week the Senate passed a fifth bill to fund federal response to the coronavirus epidemic. This new legislation has a price tag of $484 billion, and some members of Congress want to begin work on a sixth aid bill.

 

The legislation contains funding for a number of items, including:

  • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the epidemic
  • $75 billion for hospital aid
  • $25 billion for coronavirus testing
  • $60 billion for disaster loans and grants

 

The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money last week while Congress was in the midst of partisan disagreements over how to replenish it. Republicans were pushing for legislation that only contained $250 billion in new money for that program. Democrats wanted a larger bill that also gave money to hospitals as well as state and local governments.

 

The two sides finally settled on this compromise legislation, and the Senate passed it via a voice vote. This procedure does not require that members of the Senate return to the Capitol building for a vote.

 

The House of Representatives will now consider this bill, and is expected to pass it this week.

 

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